Good effort key in MHS boys’ win over Braves

Zachary Stuchlik shoots for two as Council Grove’s Sam Kirk defends. Stuchlik scored nine points in Marion’s win.<p>
Zachary Stuchlik shoots for two as Council Grove’s Sam Kirk defends. Stuchlik scored nine points in Marion’s win.<p>
A solid effort propelled the Marion boys to a 61-52 victory over Council Grove on Thursday.

The Warriors got good looks under the basket, contributing to 58 percent shooting from the field (25-for-43).

Council Grove, meanwhile, scored most of its points from beyond the arc with 10 of its 18 field goals coming from 3-point range.

“Looking on film, the further they get behind, the more they want to shoot the three rather than be patient and try to cut into a deficit one basket at a time,” coach Terry Edwards said. “They want to cut into it all at once. We knew the threes were coming.”

The Braves made three of their first four attempts from the field, including one three-pointer, for an early 9-2 lead. Chase Stringer, who scored Marion’s first eight points, made two baskets in a row to ignite a 14-3 Warrior rally to close the period.

Council Grove’s Carter Finch made three 3-pointers in the first 3:22 of the second quarter—he made five treys on the night—but those were the Braves’ only points of the period.

With Marion trailing 21-20, Sam Zinn scored 2- and 3-point baskets to start an 11-0 Warrior run in the final 4:02. Zachary Stuchlik and Stringer also contributed baskets. Marion held a 31-21 lead at halftime.

The Braves used three third-quarter treys by Sam Kirk to make up some ground for a 42-37 score heading into the fourth quarter.

Marion extended its lead to double figures. Stringer fueled Marion’s 10-3 run with three baskets, including a one-handed dunk that ignited the crowd.

Marion led by as many as 13, 58-45, after Eli Hett made a pair of free-throws. The Warriors went on to win by nine.

“We had a huge size advantage tonight with our big guys, and the goal was to penetrate and get it to the big guys or throw it over the top to get it to the big guys, but not take the guards out of the game,” Edwards said. “They were still penetrating, shooting their jump shots.

“We did a better job of finishing tonight with the big guys.”

Stringer led all scorers with 22 points. Zinn scored 18.

Coming—Marion (1-2, 6-7) resumed league play at Moundridge Tuesday and will host Sterling on Friday.